Kia is a fairly new automaker in India and it has managed to shake up the market pretty quick. The Kia Seltos is an instant hit and shows the demand for mid-size SUVs in India. Kia also showcased the Carnival which is an MPV that will be offered in six, seven eight and nine seaters and will take on the likes of Innova who was devoid of a worthy competitor. Kia is slowly expanding its footprint with cars in every segment.
As a pitching action for this expansion, Kia showcased its electric offerings at the Auto Expo 2020 which includes the Soul EV and e-Niro. These two EVs have been showcased to emphasise on Kia’s expansion plan and also to show its proficiency in making electric vehicles. Both the Soul EV and e-Niro are sold globally and Kia has not yet hinted on an Indian release of these EVs.
Globally, both these Evs are available in two configurations. Another notable feature is that both these vehicles have the same underpinnings and so it's only the shell that changes as well as the interior layout. The base variants are powered by a 39.2 kWh battery pack and coupled to a 134 bhp motor. This powertrain is also used in the Indian spec Hyundai Kona Electric as both Kia and Hyundai come under the same parent company, i.e. Hyundai Motor Company. All three of these cars are based on Hyundai’s Electric-Global Modular Platform which has been recently developed by Hyundai Motor Company for all its future energy-efficient vehicles including those of hydrogen-powered ones.
The higher trims are backed up by a larger battery pack which is rated at 64 kWh and coupled to a powerful 201 bhp motor. The universal platform easily houses both the battery packs and Soul EV is the smaller car of the two. It is 4195 mm long, 1800 mm wide and 1605 high. With a wheelbase of 2600 mm, it is similar in dimensions to the Hyundai Kona Electric. But unlike the sloping roofline of the Kona, Soul EV has a quirky design which is tall and similar to the likes of previous-gen WagonR, but much bigger!
The larger e-Niro is 4375 mm long and has a better road presence due to its size. It is a clear cut crossover and thus will appeal to a wider audience. Both the EVs are chalked to give a range of 450 km by Kia. But there is no official confirmation from the Korean automaker about the launch of these vehicles. These EVs have been showcased to flaunt Kia’s efficiency in building future proof vehicles at its Anantapur manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh.
Also, check out the muscular Kia Sonet that has been showcased as a concept and once produced will take on the likes of the Tata HBX concept and Ford Ecosport.